Posts Tagged ‘sense perception’

Existential Amiss

September 30, 2018

Common sense, Reason, Logic, Causality, Imagination, Morality & Ethics!

 Image result for Pic of Existential amiss

I intended to write this piece in a secular fashion but the overwhelming relevance of the Divine wisdom kept piercing through my thought canvas, hence surrendered making it part of the discourse. Human discourse or argumentation, anyway, barely scratches the obvious externalities of the issues while the Divine wisdom put forth the internally woven realities in a succinct yet aptly simple manner. One may notice the examples of such Subtleties in the course of reading this treatise.

Had Common sense, reason and logic been potent enough to reach the absolute certainty of the conclusions drawn, there would have been no need for the Divine religions to barge in. All of these tools are perceptual or experiential outcomes of human endeavors which; given the deficient nature of human faculties; are incapable of coming even remotely close to the level of Divine Wisdom; Revelation, the only fait accompli. (A subtle hint/deduced from Q, 17; 37) Hence some of the precepts of the religion are above and beyond the realm of human commonsense, causality, reason and logic, exuding perfect certitude and submission. (A state of affairs enormously repugnant and conceptually unacceptable to the secularists, anti-religionists and non-believers)

Note:- similar debate has been going on for long. a brief excerpt is quoted here.

[The innovative Jahmiyyah and Their Relatives from Ahl al-Kalaam Asharis and Maturidis fought the greatest battle and contention between the followers of the revealed Books and the sent Messengers and between the followers of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans. Those who contradict the revealed texts with their reason (aql), and think the reason is definitive over the revealed texts].

Common sense is really not as common as perceived. Variegated sense perceptions render it somewhat-common, partially-common, quasi-common or purely individualistic rather than really-common in the true sense of the word.

  Reason and Logic are even more disparate; propitious-reason and logic; sometimes referred to as rationality; are used to justify a conclusion, one is at home with. (Rational bias) A slightest dissension or differentiation would entail disapproval or divergence. Therefore, all these tools may create some sort of near or quasi-convergence but not an absolute or conclusive one. Logic is derived from the Greek word “logos”. In Muslim Philosophy another Grecian alternative “monads”*1 is used instead, to justify a position/stance by distinguishing a good reason from the bad one. It is only the Divine revelation (wisdom, word) which is flawless, absolute and ultimate-truth; authoritative in its perception, understanding and validity…worthy of even blind-Faith.

Kurt Gödel puts it succinctly as follow:- 

The logical axioms that underlie everyday things like arithmetic depend on us accepting as reasonable the notion that infinity comes in several different sizes.

In Islamic parlance, however “pristine-reason” (Haq al Yaqeen); in the absence of a human messenger; is considered to be potent enough for a rational being to come; at least, to the cognition of the existence and oneness of God, hence obviating disbelief. “Pristine-reason” here, is “elevated to the status of a “non-human-messenger” of God, for reason gains an edge when the logic fails rational being. (Deduced from Q, 17: 15)

Contemplative tools; human faculties, given the amiss, may help us reach the level of most probable/likely certainty (in the temporal, ancillary and ritualistic matters) but not that of an absolute certitude (in the core matters of belief/faith); which is only possible by Divine consent/intervention through the heart (Q, 10:100), as in the above case of cognition of God’s Oneness. Here the externality of this intervention cloaked in the garb of; “pristine-human-reason”, is upgraded to the status of “non-human-messenger”

Non-believer’s obstinate rejection of the Divine, religious injunctions and that of hereafter; though based on (tenuous and vitiated) reason, logic and common sense, amply explains their state of affairs.           (Q, 10:100)

*1 Universal Spirit, the first cause, singularity, Divine, Intermediary agent etc.

Imam Ghazali;- “With regard to sense-perception says; it made him very hesitant to accept the infallibility of reason. He believed in the testimony of sense till it was contradicted by the verdict of reason. Well, perhaps there is above reason another judge who; if appeared, would convict reason of falsity and if such a third arbiter is not yet apparent it does not follow that he does not exist.”

When Imam Ghazali could not reconcile the philosophical dispensations with the Divine wisdom, (Obviously there is no comparison between the two; one represents the mundaneness, while the other, word of the Divine) he turned to Sufism.

In quantum physics (Double-Slit) experiment, our act of observing something seems to change what’s observed – we are ourselves part of the experiment. Is this the ultimate problem of self-reference, one that suggests a limit to how much we can ever reason about—our surroundings—the universe?

 Role of the religion, therefore, becomes inevitable; for it presents us with flawless and absolute truth; which is perceptually-authoritative and practically valid, engendering “Taqwa”. [Innate reverential-fear (Awe) of Allah (SWT). Distinct from the usual fear of other (agencies)]

An incisive consideration and pondering, on just two of the aspects of the divine religion: 1) Belief in the hereafter. 2) The contentment would vouch for and warrant religion’s inevitability.

Belief in the hereafter is often considered a conceptual absurdity and theological fallacy hence rejected by the non-believers. Belief in the hereafter, however, is the source of immitigable hope and equity, which no atheistic belief/doctrine/philosophy may even, conceives to offer. Unbelief in the hereafter renders one scuttled of many realities. Such as; ultimate-reality; ultimate-hope; ultimate-triumph, and ultimate-Justice. One, without the belief in the hereafter, is like, latching onto the event-horizon of a black hole of hopelessness and despair. The statistics, available on depression/hopelessness resulting in suicide and homicide, is a vindication of this fact. Conversely, in the overwhelmingly religious affluent Middle East, there are hardly any such issues, hence NO mental hospitals needed.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/scuttling-the-mental-capacity/

Contentment is a huge blessing for a rational being. When someone (even a non-believer) is suffering; no relief in sight; distressed/desperate, resorts back to God, is blessed with His mercy. (Q, 27:62) Overwhelmed with gratitude, he takes a sigh of relief and the most joyous sense of contentment sets in. (One’s resorting back to God while distressed, means un-recalcitrant-submission; invigorating the innate impulses; meeting the pre-requisites; of belief in Him, His injunctions, including the belief in the hereafter).

Is He [not best] who responds to the distressed/desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth?” (Q, 27:62)

“Deprived is the one who has been deprived of the reward of enduring distress”  (Khidr–a.s)                                                                                                                                          Fasting in the month of Ramadan from dawn to dusk is a fine practical example of it; whereby one is patiently content (nafs-al-mutmai’nna) all day long, hoping the accrual of the temporal and divinely rewards at the end of the day.

Faculties of thinking and the exercise of Free-will (choice) are also signs of deficiency on the part of the creation. Allah does not think but intends; for He is omnipotent; causer of both, the cause and the effect. Nothing wrong/bad may emanate from His essence (Q, 48:23); but from His schematic creational activities, such as the creation of rational beings inseminated with good and bad. Indeed, Our word to a thing when We intend it is but that We say to it, “Be,” and it is” (Q, 16:40)   On the other hand; when rational beings would exercise the option of intention; in the similar fashion; (without thinking and deliberations) it is bound to be fraught with pitfalls, for rational beings are created with an existential amiss.

Imagination is of non-local (metaphysical/spiritual) origin; for it traverses both, the local and non-local domain. Therefore, those who accuse believers of worshipping an “imaginary God” are, unwittingly, admitting this reality. God inculcated, in the constitution of the rational beings, two-pronged sense of imagination (topical and non-topical); a schematic molding, hence the relevance and necessity of Divine and Divine religion becomes inevitable. God does not think but “Wills” whereas man’s will (choice) subsists in God’s will whereby He equilibrates it with the elements of hope and fear, (existential amiss) rendering it rationally operative. (Q, 17:57)

People need religion because it is the blueprint for the functioning of the “Soul” in the temporal realm. Voltaire, an archpriest of rationalism, alludes to this inevitability in a mundanely best possible way: “Man would have to invent God, even if He does not exist”

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/?s=inevitable+God

Religious Truth is multifaceted. It is comprised of science, logic, philosophy, history, ethics, and experience all mixed together. It is, in a sense, a different kind of knowing, not ignorant of the other kinds of truths (known and yet to be known), asserting the inevitability of the religion.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/scientific-elaboration-of-surah-at-tin-fig-95-verse-4/

 (Hadith) Every child is born on Nature— (his natural disposition/course. Resorting back to/linking with the Creator)

“It is asserted here that fitrah is the essential condition and state of existence in which God fashioned mankind; with innate impulses/urges including the sense of good and bad; fear and safety; pain and relief; cognition of God; submission, transgression and arrogance etc. (existential amiss–Imperfection, tendency/choice to swerve). It is present in the very essence of the creation and is inextricably kneaded into the very substance of the “rational beings” (Q) which is acutely elicited in the following verse.

 

إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الاٌّمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنْسَـنُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ
نَظَلُوماً جَهُولاً –

 “We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;- He was indeed ignorant  and foolish” (Q, 33:72)

 

Ordinary beings, given their basic knowledge of the religious fundamentals, are tested for their weaknesses (existential amiss). The window of forgiveness is wide open for them; even if they have a mountain of mistakes/sins on their back; as long as they keep seeking forgiveness with utmost sincerity and a commitment not to repeat the same. (There is no numerical or time limitation)  This is an esoteric expression of the unbounded mercy of the Creator; for the people of knowledge and intellect who understand.

Men of knowledge (Aalim/Scholar), given the higher degree of knowledge, are tested for the equitable dissemination of the knowledge while acting upon it themselves as is due. Their test becomes harder and their failure attracts equally harsher punishment, for they are given the knowledge as the inheritors of the Prophet (PBUH).

Prophets; given the highest degree of knowledge and the duty of disseminating the message entrusted to them, often face the hardest of the tests for their perseverance, firmness, devotion and endurance instead. They are immunized of the mundanity (existential amiss) to a large extent due to their highest station/status. (Protected from major sins—Asmah/Masoom); which keeps them even from minor sins but some rare slips. (Q, 4:31)

“If you avoid the major sins which you are forbidden, We will remove from you your lesser sins and admit you to a noble entrance [into Paradise]” [Q, 4:31]

Hadith: when a companion asked the Prophet, despite being a Prophet of Allah why do you always keep asking for His forgiveness? He replied; “for any moment passed without His remembrance” This emphasizes the point that one, regardless of his station, should never be oblivious of the innate existential amiss and always keep asking for His forgiveness.

“Cause and effect” is a phenomenon of the sequential morphing of things/ideas in the space-time spectrum. It, however, can’t continue ad-infinitum. It also cannot fully transcend back into the metaphysical/spiritual realm. Therefore, becomes unhitched, regressive, and even ineffective. ‘Ex Nahilo’ is an outright negation of temporal phenomenon of “causality”. God (SWT); the very first (primal) cause, therefore, is the sole cause/causer of the Universe. (Creational activity in the space-time realm is known as “Khulq/Takhleeq” )

“When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is” (Q, 2:117)

In the absence of space-time spectrum, there is but an intention/will (ordinance {Amar}), of the primal cause, for the matter/idea to come into being. In the metaphysical/spiritual realm, contrary to the physical realm, no material/tangible cause has to exist to produce a material/tangible effect. Divine causality, therefore, is inimitable by the rational beings in the space-time spectrum. (Creational activity in the absence of space-time spectrum is known as “Takween”)

Takween is derived from the word “KUN” fayakun. It is beyond and above the physical laws of the universe and does not need the matter, time or space for a thing to come into existence. (Ex Nihilo=Out of Nothing). Bypassing the temporal physical laws or the temporal causality is also called Takween. {creation of Adam and Jesus Christ—PBUT}

 Temporal causality vs. Divine causality

Here are vivid differences.

In temporal causality, a causer may activate the cause but may not have the capability to determine the effect. He would also not have the capability to alter the effect (outcome) of a cause. A rational being may be dealing with a clear cause or INUS (insufficient but non-redundant parts of conditions; which in itself unnecessary, but sufficient for the occurrence of the effects). This distinction would not exist in the Divine causality.

In Divine causality, The Causer of the cause and effect is the same. The Causer is omnipotent to alter/determine the effect(s) as He wills. The Causer is also competent to produce an effect without cause (Ex-Nahilo). The Causer may pre-determine effects or causes in multiple, and then afford the medium (sentient beings) the application of Free-will (Choice) to commensurate effect(s).

“And when We would intend to destroy a township We had sent a commandment (warning) to its people of authority leading easy lives; who yet disobeyed and transgressed; so as a result of our Judgment passed, We annihilated it with complete annihilation” (Q, 17:16)

Note:- (Ghazali’s views on causality, read: http://www.ghazali.org/articles/gz-aylon2.pdf)

Morality, mortified by the psychology of innate fear, sprouts from the Divine religious injunctions. Although it lays the ground-rules for this word, the effects also transcend to the next.

Morality, based on reward and punishment, (retribution) works wonderfully due to the psychology of “innate-fear” of being monitored unimpeded and continuously by the “Invisible”. Religion (Islam) “submission” was enacted simultaneous to the Creation (forbidding Adam and Eve from eating the fruit) and the punishment for its violation was established by the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Heavens. Satan (Lucifer) was also expelled for his disobedience due to his avarice and pride. They were not simply expelled but with specifically (and schematically) mandated rights, roles, and responsibilities; which, in specifically Islamic parlance could be called “Sharia’a” and in everyday parlance “Morality”.

Ethicality is developed by the rational beings, in the light of their past collective experiences. It regulates the immediate, contemporary cultural, societal or communal behavior. It is limited to temporality in scope, optional in its practicality; often floutingly by-passed without compunction. Needless to say that, the resourcefulness of Morality is unsurpassable by the man-made ethicality.

Ethics (Laws) are devised by the people for a community, society or culture; monitoring whereof is also done by people (an agency) employed for the purpose. The compliance would simply depend on either one’s call of the conscience or the fear of being caught by the monitoring agent. The physical absence of the monitoring agency would offer all kind of inducements to flout, as it cannot be established and no penalty would ensue.  This is the weakest aspect of the man-made ethicality.

A distinct difference between Divine law and the man-made law is that Divine Law compassionately seeks avenues to forgive while the man-made law is hell-bent on seeking evidence to punish.

Those who envisage morality, without religion, in fact, misconstrue ethics as morality.

After all, man is created with an existential amiss.

 Innate Fear, Psychology of fear is employed by the Divine to elicit the compliance of the religious injunctions without the presence of a physical watchdog.

  • An infant, when made to hold a bar, would continue clinging to it due to the innate fear of fall and hurt until made to feel safe to let it go.
  • In a situation of distress, “heightened state of fear/anxiety” (even in the case of a non-believer) all boundaries and impediments are dismantled; a connection between the Lord and the distressed-servant is immediately activated, and the call of the distressed is heard by the Almighty. (Q, 27:62)

Innate-fear, therefore, is not just a predicate of punishment, as often complained, but also that of an “SOS” signal, in the situation of distress.   

shakir2.wordpress.com

Topics covered:- Logic, reason, pristine reason, common sense, causality, Temporal/Divine causality, revelation, Divine wisdom, Inevitability of religion, Non Human Messenger, Gazali’s falsity of reason, imagination, Imaginary God, belief in the hereafter, Contentment, Voltaire’s rationalism, Fitrah, khulq/takween, Ordinary,/ scholar/ prophet, Psychology of Innate fear, Morality, Ethics and  The-Distressed.

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Do animals feel pain? [have intellect?]

December 24, 2017

Image result for Pic of an emotional reunion with an animal

“All living beings roaming/crawling/walking the earth and winged birds soaring in the sky are Peoples/communities like yourselves…” (Q, 6:38)

Animals, plants, everything created is endowed with consciousness, intellect and sense perception.

Pain is a complex experience involving sense and emotion. It is not simply how it feels, but how it makes one feel, be that a human or an animal? As far as domestic animals are concerned, we may, up to a certain extent, gauge their pain and feelings but that may not be so with the birds of prey. The Pain of the animals; who do not or cannot communicate, ought to be sensed/observed by an observer. Therefore, a rational being, who took responsibility, is responsible to do that and take care of the pain and suffering of the non-human sentient-beings.

In my opinion, things having been endowed with any level of consciousness (cognizable or not) ought to have a sense of joy and gloom. Empirically conclusive evidence of this is difficult to come by unless a sustained scientific study is carried out. This is a tedious process. Qura’an, on the other hand, however, categorically declares that the entire—non-human– creation is created with the sense of obedience/praying to its Creator, and they are people/communities like us, {endowed with certain level of consciousness, intellect, sense of feelings, obedience and worship} although their mode of expression/communication may not be understandable by us. 

Here is the scientific research; which will shed more light on the above assertions.

The report was published in Current Biology by researchers Dr. Sara Letzer and Prof Dr. Onur Gunturkun in collaboration with Prof Dr. Christian Beste. Cognitive ability was assumed to be the anatomical cause of cerebral cortex. In birdshowever, there is no presence of such cortical structures. Therefore, according to this assumption, birds are incapable of performing complex functions like multitasking.

(Future Planning).

To demonstrate how smart an octopus can be, an octopus will be pulling two halves of a coconut shell together to hide inside. Later the animal may also stack the shells together like nesting bowls — and carts them away. “It suggests that the octopus is carrying these tools around because it has some understanding they may be useful in the future,”

For decades, researchers have studied how certain animals evolved to be intelligent, among the apes, elephants, dolphins and even some birds, such as crows and parrots. But all the scientific theories fail when it comes to cephalopods, a group that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish. Intelligence comprises sophisticated cognitive skills that help an animal thrive. That may include the ability to come up with solutions to the problem of finding food, for example, or a knack for planning for some challenge in the future. Intelligent animals don’t rely on fixed responses to survive — they can invent new behaviors on the fly. To measure animal intelligence, scientists observe creatures in the wild — watching a dolphin stick a sponge on its beak to avoid getting cuts from sharp rocks and coral, for example. Or they bring animals into the lab and offer them puzzles to solve, such as rewarding crows when they learn to rip paper into strips of just the right size

Following examples would testify to their consciousness, sense perception and intellect.

“The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving”. (Q, 17:44)

“See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and “Ad-Dawab” (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honor him. Verily! Allah does what He wills”.      (Q, 22:18)

Raven/Crow–Able and Cain–and his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the ­losers”. “Then Allah sent a crow searching in the ground to show him how to hide the disgrace of his brother. He said, ‘O woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the body of my brother?’ And he became of the regretful.” (Quran 5:30-31)

“All living beings roaming/crawling/walking the earth and winged birds soaring in the sky are Peoples/communities like yourselves. We have left nothing out of the Record. Then to their Lord, they will be gathered all together” (Q, 6:38)

Ababil (Swallows)

Ababil (A bird أبابيل‎, translitabābīl) refers to the miraculous birds (identified as swallows) mentioned in Sura 105 of the Qura’an that protected the Ka’ba in Mecca from the Aksumite elephant army of Abraha, a self-styled governor of Himyar, by dropping small clay stones on them as they approached.

The bird (Hoopoe) informed Prophet Soloman about the people of Saba (Sheba of southern Arabia) and their Queen Sheeba, who used to worship Sun.

Whale-Fish

Prophet Jonah was thrown into the sea and swallowed by a big fish (whale)who was instructed to keep the Prophet safe in her stomach for few days, so that he may reflect, learn to be patient and ­repent. He was then regurgitated onto the shore as ordered by God.

AHADITH.

Hungry Camel.

Muslim transmitted that one day the Prophet (PBUH) along with some of his companions, entered the gardens of al-Ansar. A camel approached the Prophet with eyes filled with tears. The Messenger of Allah caressed his back and wiped his eyes and the camel calmed down. The Messenger then asked about his owner. When he showed up the Messenger said, ‘Don’t you fear God? This animal you own has complained to me that it is hungry and tired because you abuse him and don’t feed well.

Grieving Palm Tree Trunk

Hadith narrated by Ibn Umar: The Prophet (PBUH) used to deliver sermons while standing beside or leaning against a Date Palm tree trunk. When he had the pulpit made and started using it instead, the Palm tree trunk started crying/weeping/grieving out of love for the prophet. So, Prophet approached rubbing it with his hand. It stopped crying/weeping/grieving. –Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 783-

Imam Qurtabi said: The person in whose house his cat is not fed and taken care of, whose caged birds are not attended to as due, cannot be counted amongst the–(Mohsinin)–doer of good.

Adultery by female-monkey

Sahih Bukhari] Vol, 5 – Book 58 – # 188                                                           

Narrated by Amr bin Maimun: During the pre-Islamic period of ignorance, I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too stoned it along with them.

guarding/companion Dod

The Islamic version of the story of “Seven sleepers of Pegasus” includes mention of a dog, who accompanied them into the cave and appears to keep watch. In Islam, these youths are referred to as the People of the Cave.

Research Finds That Pigeons Are Better at Multitasking Than Humans.

Honey-Bee

Honey-bee–Consider how your Lord has inspired Honey-bee “make your hives [geometrical masterpiece of the hexagonal honey-comb which is most economical, rational, as regards space and material] in the mountains, trees and higher places and in what people construct (for apiculture)” (Q, 16:68)

Mosquito Miracle! 

The mosquito, although weighing only one-thousandth of a gram, is a tiny creature with an extremely complex structure. It has about one hundred eyes, three complete hearts, a heat detector, a vaccine working as an anesthetic, an instrument for blood testing, a liquefying system, six knives in its nose, a digital X-ray machine to distinguish human skin in the dark, etc. Its development from egg to adult passes through three complicated stages with a change in color to avoid predators. It is a very good example of the complexity of some creatures. It is said in the Holy Qura’an: ”surely Allah is not disdainful to give an example of the smallest thing (such as Mosquito) or something above that,  and as for those who disbelieve, say: What is it that Allah means by this parable: By such a similitude Allah confounds many and enlightens many. He confounds none except the transgressors” (Q, 2:26) 

Plants

Prophet Jacob’s leprosy-ridden body was covered (for shadow) by a creeper and a goat used to come morning and evening to feed him, under the command of God (SWT).

Plants have a far greater ability to sense their world than appearances might suggest, has led to some remarkable claims about “plant Intelligence”, and even spawned a new discipline. Electrical signaling in plants was one of the key factors in the birth of “plant neurobiology” (a term used despite the lack of neurons in plants), and today there are plant researchers investigating such traditionally non-plant areas as memory, learning and problem-solving. These plants are moving with purpose, which means they must be aware of what is going on around them.

 Despite lacking eyes, plants such as Arabidopsis possess at least 11 types of photoreceptor, compared to our measly four. Plants seeing, smelling, feeling and, indeed, knowing to have echoes of The secret life of Plants.

 

Shakir2.wordpress.com

Note: originally published on Dec, 24th 2017 now updated and republished on 03/01/2019


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